We have recently published various posts relating to the Skilled Worker Visa. Including Skilled Worker Visa Salary Rates and Skilled Worker Visa – Evidence of Recruitment. This post looks at a selection of questions frequently asked by Skilled Worker migrants when changing employment. If you’re looking to purchase or sell a home or business in London The best law firms with the best teams of attorneys are Dispute resolution solicitors in London.
Can a Skilled Worker Visa Holder Change Employer?
Yes, but if you are going to change employers, you will need to submit a new Skilled Worker application providing the details of your new sponsor. Your new sponsor must be on the Home Office’s Register of licensed sponsors and have a Skilled Worker Sponsor Licence. You must also have a valid Certificate of Sponsorship (‘CoS’) from your new sponsor holding a valid Skilled Worker Sponsor Licence.
What if My New Employer Does Not Have a Skilled Worker Sponsor Licence?
If your new employer does not have a sponsor license, they must make a Skilled Worker Sponsor Licence application. We have a dedicated employer guide for applying for a Skilled Worker Sponsor Licence. We have also published a post on How To Apply For A Skilled Worker Sponsor Licence, discussing the criteria and evidence required.
Sponsor Licence applications are usually processed within eight weeks. There is a priority service where applications are considered within ten working days. The fee for the priority service is £500 per request, and only a maximum of 10 requests will be accepted each day from Monday to Friday.
Can I Stay With the Same Employer but in a Different Role?
Yes, but if you are staying with the same employer, you may need to make a new visa application if the following applies:
Your core duties have changed, and your new role has a different Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) code to the one stated on your current CoS;
Your job was previously on the shortage occupation list, and you are changing to a new role that is not on the shortage occupation list;
If the following occurs, you are unlikely to need to make a change of employment application:
There is an increase in your basic salary;
The change of employer or sponsor is covered by TUPE arrangements or similar protection, and it is the same occupation code as the one assigned by the previous sponsor;
Your pay was reduced or stopped during absences of less than four weeks in a calendar year. If you have been absent from work without pay, or your pay was reduced, for more than four weeks during any calendar year, and it was for one of the following reasons:
- Statutory maternity leave, paternity leave, parental leave, or shared parental leave; or
- Statutory adoption leave; or
- Sick leave; or
- Assisting with a national or international humanitarian or environmental crisis, providing your sponsor agreed to the absence for that purpose; or
- Taking part in legally organized industrial action.
When Should I Resign From My Current Role?
It is important to carefully plan the timeframe for your resignation (taking into account any notice period) and your change of employment application to provide your new employer with a realistic start date. You can continue to work in your current job.
If you cease to be employed by your Skilled Worker Sponsor, the Home Office may cancel your permission as a Skilled Worker. Please see our post on Curtailment of Leave to Remain for further information.
If you would like advice on whether it is possible to make a change of employment application prior to resigning, any associated risks, and the relevant timeframe in relation to your personal circumstances, please contact our immigration barristers.
What Are the Requirements for a Skilled Worker Change of Employment Application?
The requirements when changing your Skilled Worker Visa qualifying employment are:
- Have a valid Certificate of Sponsorship;
- Your job offer is a genuine vacancy;
- Thejob offer is at an appropriately skilled level;
- Job offer meets the minimum salary threshold;
- You satisfy an English language requirement;
- You have sufficient funds if you have been in the UK for less than 12 months;
- For further information, please see How to Apply for a UK Skilled Worker Visa.
Other Relevant Information for a Change of Employment Application
The current published processing time for a Skilled Worker change of employment application is eight weeks. You may be eligible to pay a fee to get a faster decision.
When applying in the UK, the Skilled Worker application visa fees are £719 per person for up to 3 years and £1,423 per person for more than three years.
It is worth noting that there is no maximum time in the Skilled Worker route, and you can extend your visa as long as you meet the requirements.
When Can I Apply for Settlement as a Skilled Worker Following a Change of Employment?
We recently posted an article on How to Apply For ILR as a Skilled Worker, where we provided a guide for the main applicants of Skilled Worker. You will be eligible to apply for indefinite leave to remain if you have spent a continuous period of 5 years in the UK.
Other requirements include:
- You must not have been outside the UK for more than 180 days during each year of the 5-year continuous period;
- You must have passed the Life in the UK test (unless you are over the age of 65 or have a disability);
- Your sponsor must still be a Home Office-approved sponsor;
- Your sponsor must still require you to work for them for the foreseeable future;
- Your salary must be at least £25,600 per year and the going rate for your occupation code, although there are exceptions;
When you complete an eligible UK degree, the Graduate Visa allows you to remain in the UK to look for work or work. This route allows you to stay in the UK for two or three years to successfully complete a Ph.D. or doctoral course.
- You may be eligible to apply for a graduate visa if you meet the following requirements:
- Successfully completed a UK degree or other eligible course;
- Your education provider has a track record of compliance as a licensed sponsor;
- You must have or have last had permission as a student;
- You have not previously been granted permission under the Doctorate Extension Scheme or as a Graduate;
- Your sponsor has notified the Home Office that you have completed the course of study;
- You do not fall for refusal on the grounds of suitability;
The Start-up Visa is for applicants who want to start a business in the UK for the first time. This route does not lead to settlement, and the visa is valid for two years.
To be eligible for the Start-up Visa, you must have been endorsed by an approved UK endorsing body. You can access the list of endorsing bodies here. Your business idea must be innovative, viable, and scalable. You will also need to show that you have met the English language requirement. They are competent in English to at least CEFR Level B2. If you apply for entry clearance or have been in the UK with permission for less than 12 months. You must demonstrate that you have at least £1,270 to support yourself. At the end of 2 years, you may be eligible to apply for leave to remain in the Innovator category.